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Evaluating linkage between children's health, education and social care data - pre-term births sub-study

Research Overview

In many settings, administrative health data for mothers and babies are routinely linked so that variables in the mother’s history can be used in analyses of child outcomes. Such linkage is not yet undertaken routinely in Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data for England. This project aims to develop and evaluate linkages between HES data and UK primary care data using shared clinical characteristics, to inform wider use of these linked data resources by researchers and services.


Benefit

The project will create standardised birth cohorts for comparison of maternal and child outcomes between countries.  


Datasets and name of the Government departments

Data from NHS Digital and the Office for National Statistics


More about the research

In many settings, administrative health data for mothers and babies are routinely linked so that key variables in the mother’s history, such as clinical risk factors, previous pregnancies and ethnic group, can be used in analyses of child outcomes. Such linkage is undertaken routinely in Scotland, Canada, Sweden and Western Australia but not in HES data for England.

Mother-baby linkage is performed for UK primary care data (Clinical Practice Research Datalink - CPRD) but this linkage has not been adequately evaluated. This project aims to develop and evaluate these linkages using shared clinical characteristics, to inform wider use of these linked data resources by researchers and services. Linkage will be used to create standardised birth cohorts for comparison of maternal and child outcomes between countries.

This ADRC-E work will:

  1. Establish and evaluate mother-baby linkage in HES for England and compare key outcomes (e.g. stillbirth rate) against external registration data reported by ONS.
  2. Evaluate the mother-baby linkage within CPRD using primary care linked to HES data for the UK.
  3. Conduct exemplar studies, using standardised electronic birth cohorts, to compare maternal and child outcomes between different countries (e.g.: England, Scotland, Sweden, and Ontario).


Date Approved 

March 2015


Research team

Dr Linda Wijlaars, ADRC-E and Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UCL

Dr Katie Harron, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Prof Ruth Gilbert, ADRC-E and Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UCL

Dr Pia Hardelid, Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UCL

Ania Zylberstein, Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UCL

Maximiliane Verfuerden, Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UCL

Prof Jan van der Meulen, ADRC-E and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


Further information and links

What England could learn from Canada on reducing child hospital admissions, The Conversation

International comparison of emergency hospital use for infants: data linkage cohort study in Canada and England, BMJ Quality & Safety, July 2017, p. 1-9


Page last updated: 24/10/2017